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Install & Replace


Replacing a dimmer switch

Hello!  I have a dimmer switch with a broken toggle, picture below.  I'd like to replace it with one that has a different switch and dimmer configuration to match the others in my house.  I found what I'm looking for on your website and posted a photo of that below.  I generally don't mess with electrical projects for the obvious reasons, but figured this one should be as easy as disconnecting and reconnecting a few wires.  Can you please tell me how to do it?   Also, I see there a number of different wattages (i.e., 150, 300, 600, etc.) available on the new switch.  How do I know which to buy? Any help appreciated.  


Photo of broken swtich and screen grab of the one I want:


current broken switchdimmerswitch.png

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Posted 2012-10-19T17:22:14+0000  by doughenning doughenning

Hello doughenning.  Welcome to the Community!


Yes, replacing your broken dimmer switch will be about as easy an electrical job can get.  Obviously you want to make sure that the circuit breaker powering this switch has been turned off.  Mark the breaker with a piece of tape with a warning for others to leave it off.  Use a circuit tester when you take off the wire nuts to make sure that there is no power present in any of the wires.  If you do these things, the rest of the process is easy.


As far as the wattage of the dimmer you buy, make sure that the rated wattage of the dimmer switch exceeds any load you will place on it.  For example, if this dimmer powers a single 100 watt bulb, then any dimmer rated over 100 watts will suffice.  Higher ratings, like 300, 600 or even 1000 watts will not cause harm.  Higher rated switches are more robust, and generally will cost a little more.


The Home Depot has a project guide on exactly this task.  You can find it here.


I will post here a part of the project guide so you can get a quick idea of what is involved.  Please note that your new dimmer switch will come with installation instructions as well.  Just pay attention to what wires went where on the original switch, and duplicate that hook-up with the new switch.  If your dimmer operates a light which is also operated by another switch, then you have what is called a 3-way switch connection.  If not, your new dimmer as shown will have an extra wire that you will simply cap off, as it is not needed for a single switch, (single pole), configuration.  OK, here goes:









Is this what you were looking for?  Let us know if you have any other questions.





Best Answer

Posted 2012-10-19T18:14:22+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

yes.  thanks, Newf.  That's exactly what I needed.

Posted 2012-10-19T19:03:56+0000  by doughenning
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